Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With Content Beyond MA-15+

June 25, 2009 -

Australia's federal government said yesterday that it plans to block access to websites which host and sell games with content edgier than what is allowable under an MA-15+ rating. The unprecedented censorship policy will apply to Australians of all ages.

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, a spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (left) said that the filtering scheme willl apply to downloadable games, Flash games and websites which sell boxed copies of MA-15+ games via mail order.

Colin Jacobs of Electronic Frontiers Australia, an online users' lobbying group, criticized the plan:

This is confirmation that the scope of the mandatory censorship scheme will keep on creeping. Far from being the ultimate weapon against child abuse, it now will officially censor content deemed too controversial for a 15-year-old. In a free country like ours, do we really need the government to step in and save us from racy web games?

Mark Newton, described by the SMH as an ISP engineer, told the newspaper that the plan could affect online-only games like World of Warcraft and Second Life as well:

That [online games] exemption [on content ratings] is the only reason why multi-player games with user-generated environments are possible in this country; without it, it'd only take one game user anywhere in the world to produce objectionable content in the game environment to make the Australian Government ban the game for everyone.


Comments

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

They likely suddenly needed a permit to hold the protest, or were shunted to a "free speech zone"

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Its probably better that it didn't happen, seeing as though the plan was to protest while cosplaying.

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Actually they changed their minds about doing it in cosplay (due to issues of not being taken seriously.. I know I'd be more likely the run away than listen to a 40 year old man dressed as sailor moon), but I don't know how it went down.

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Good luck blocking flash games.

------ Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Wait a minute, this country is surrounded by deadly waters, vicious crocodiles, venomous creatures, Kangaroos that out number the populace and this is what's worrying them? A 14 year old getting  a hold of GTA4?  We should give the government some real problems to worry about like a hundred rabbits roaming the outback.

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Oh no, it's worse then that.  See, they're not worried about a 14 year old getting a hold of GTA IV.  That you could at least understand even if you disagree with it.  No, they're worried about anybody getting a hold of GTA IV.


Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Don't worry. When Michael Atkinson is retired or dead, whichever comes first, this will probably go with him.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

I don´t like the idea to wait his death just for have his ideas death like him. And why is anybody opposing against him in this matter? I don´t think just videogames are being affected by these jackasses regulations "for the children".

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

They don't necessarily have to wait for his death...

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Honestly, I have no connection to the man at all and really don't care about him. I don't think saying that I hope he conks out soon is too far out. The day that he does die and the news hits GamePolitics, it will be a fucking party.


Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Sh1t just got real again for australians. My deepest condolences for them... your country is being runned by a55h0les...

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games Rated ...

Who in the HELL thought up that lousy idea?!?!

Guess no one in Australia has heard of a proxy server....

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games Rated ...

Remember, these are the idiots who created filters to block porn (in schools/libraries and other places if I remember correct) and it took pretty much zero times for it to be bypassed by some kid.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Infophile@Matthew Wilson: As I understand it, any regulations to force tax online would also set up an easy database for these stores to use, minimizing overhead.09/23/2014 - 1:30pm
MonteReally, the eshop just does next to nothing to make buying digitally advantagous for the customer. Its nice to have the game on my 3DS, but i can get more for less buying a physical copy at retail. And that's not even counting buying used09/23/2014 - 1:18pm
MonteIanC, The Eshop wallet system only lets you add funds in set denominations and the tax makes sure you no longer have round numbers so you ALWAYS loose money. A $39.99 game for instance requires you to add $50 instead of just $4009/23/2014 - 1:13pm
Matthew Wilsonbut thats just it those sites, even the small ones, sell all over the country.09/23/2014 - 11:12am
Neenekoeither that or it would follow the car model of today. big ticket items are taxed according to your residence, not where you buy them.09/23/2014 - 11:07am
NeenekoI doubt it would be the retailer that handles the tax in the first place. If it goes through it would probably be folded in as a service on the processor end or via 'turbotax' style applications.09/23/2014 - 11:05am
Matthew Wilsonsimple there are over 10k tax areas in the us for sales tax. it would be impossible for small online retailers to handle that.09/23/2014 - 10:55am
IanCWhats wrong with charging tax in an online shop?09/23/2014 - 10:47am
E. Zachary KnightI don't see why it would be that difficult to maintain one. Especially for a news outlet with multiple people on the payroll.09/23/2014 - 9:37am
Matthew Wilsonthey can, but will they? more inportantly will the traditional sites be willing to do the extra work to maintain the list?09/23/2014 - 9:02am
E. Zachary KnightSo how will it reduce the power of the traditional games press? They can create curated stores too.09/23/2014 - 8:39am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good thing, but it does mean traditional games press will have less power than ever before. To be fair most of the gaming press were never big on pc gaming anyways.09/23/2014 - 8:33am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, is that a bad or good thing?09/23/2014 - 7:43am
MechaTama31When you say "youtuber", I picture some sort of customizable potato...09/22/2014 - 10:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthis change will only give youtubers more power.09/22/2014 - 9:54pm
prh99Steam has added a curator system. You can follow your favorites and see their recommendations http://store.steampowered.com/curators/09/22/2014 - 9:07pm
MaskedPixelantePlus there's the whole "we don't use accounts" thing that means if you lose your 3DS and have to get a new one, you have to deal with Nintendo customer service to get your downloads back instead of, you know, logging in and downloading them.09/22/2014 - 8:39pm
MonteIndeed. Their wallet system, the lack of sales, applying tax, the lack of price cuts, the eshop is pretty terrible. Only use it for indie games.09/22/2014 - 8:29pm
Andrew EisenThat's the one I'm eyeballing. Really dug the demo. Didn't care as much for EOIV though.09/22/2014 - 8:19pm
MaskedPixelanteOoh, an Atlus sale, it must be a day that ends in "y". I'd much rather get physical 3DS games because of Nintendo's outdated digital distribution policies, but EOU is near impossible to find anywhere nowadays... conflicted.09/22/2014 - 7:48pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician